Maison Cilento in the “Museimpresa” network opens to visitors in Naples and Milan

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With the delivery of the plaque to be displayed at the entrance, the inclusion of the two Maison Cilento shops, in Naples and Milan, in the Museimpresa network which open to visitors becomes official. Having recognized the historical value of the company as well as its headquarters, memorabilia and furnishings, the two shops are in all respects museums that can be visited, studied and will need to be protected and passed down. Fair recognition for a historic brand of Italian excellence (tailoring, fabrics, clothing, ties, accessories) which joins the Italian Association of Corporate Archives and Museums.

The Association with 140 museums

The Association, currently chaired by Antonio Calabrò, brings together over 140 museums and archives of large, medium and small Italian companies. Founded in Milan in 2001 on the initiative of Assolombarda and Confindustria, it is a unique network at European level, which brings together subjects of business culture to safeguard the memory of Italian industry and enhance the testimonies of its manufacturing capacity. What does it mean to become Museums of ‘Business? It is a permanent non-profit institution at the service of society, which carries out research, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. The Museums are open to the public, accessible and inclusive. In short, evidence of high cultural value by virtue of which in 2017 Museimpresa signed a collaboration agreement with the Mibact, which officially recognizes its cultural and social role and inserts the network of Corporate Museums into the National Museum System.

What counts first of all is Cilento’s 250-year history.

The company was “M. Cilento & F.llo” was founded in Naples in 1780 in Largo San Giovanni Maggiore (as documented in the company historical archive declared by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism for the Campania region to be of particularly important historical interest and subject to the provisions of protection). In 1820 the headquarters were moved to via Medina, to the Palazzo D’Aquino in Caramanico designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga. In January 1831 the Cilento brothers built two spinning mills in Salerno, near the Irno and Sarno rivers, with the Swiss textile industrialists Don Davide Vonwiller and Federico Zublin, the Antiche Cotonerie Meridionali. The introduction of spinning and weaving natural fibres, such as cotton, linen and hemp, contributed significantly to the economic development of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In the twentieth century the company began tailoring shirts, suits, ties and other accessories for men, all made by Neapolitan workers. In 2015 the headquarters changed: the one in via Medina closed, the Neapolitan Maison moved to via Riviera di Chiaia 203-204 in the historic Palazzo Ludolf.

The Milanese adventure

To open its new headquarters in Milan, Cilento purchased the premises in Via Fiori Oscuri 13, and precisely those premises which have made the history of Milan and the Brera district, which first hosted the ancient Spezieria di Brera in 1591 – closely connected to the nearby Botanical Garden – and subsequently, from 1812, the Antica Farmacia di Brera, where Carlo Erba began his industrious activity as a pharmacist, and where people such as Alessandro Volta, Alessandro Manzoni and Napoleon Bonaparte passed. Documents from the Casa Manzoni Museum attest to the Manzoni family’s frequenting of these local areas. Cilento has recovered, made its own and merged with its own the history of the apothecary and the medicinal world by reproducing the famous herbal remedies such as the Brera Pills and the China Elixir as well as registering all the precious trademarks. The Milanese boutique is a fusion of two museums and two stories, the Milanese one and the Neapolitan one. M. Cilento & f.llo has, among other things, been registered in the register of historic Italian brands of national interest by the Ministry of Development Inexpensive and has a rich family collection, the result not only of the maison’s centuries-old activity, but also of the research that Ugo Cilento, representative of the eighth generation and current president of the Association of historical companies I Centenari, carries out to recover the memory of the sector and which also led to the creation of a peculiar exhibition hosted by the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

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